5 Things To Know If You Get Into A Car Accident
This post was written by Andrea Girones:
Despite our best efforts to drive safely, car accidents are still an unfortunate part of life due to speeding, bad weather, and reckless driving. Approximately 160,000 car accidents occur each year in Canada alone.
Here are some tips to keep in mind should you ever find yourself involved in a car accident.
Safety comes first
Your first priority should be to make sure you and your passengers are OK. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. If you are able to safely leave your car, also check if the other driver requires medical assistance.
It’s recommended that you seek medical assistance whether or not you feel symptoms at the time of the accident. Your adrenaline rush may temporarily conceal your symptoms, and certain injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, may not show for days.
Whether paramedics observe your injuries on the scene or you visit your doctor following the crash, gathering documented evidence that you sought medical attention will be helpful should you need to make a personal injury claim down the road.
Gather the necessary information
Make sure to exchange information with the other driver, including their name, address, phone number, insurance company, and policy number, as well as their vehicle’s license plate number. If possible, also gather the names and numbers of any witnesses.
It’s also crucial that you take pictures and/or videos of the general area and position of the vehicles as well as the specific damage to all of the vehicles.
Lastly, you may want to call the police to see if they will come to the scene or if they will ask you to attend a reporting centre. Generally, if there are no injuries, the cars are drivable, and the damage is less than $1000, the police will ask you to attend at the station to report the accident.
Ask yourself two key questions
After getting in a car accident, it’s to ask yourself the following two questions when assessing the damage of the accident:
- Who is at fault for the accident?
The information gathered at the scene such as a police report, photographs and videos, and names and contact information of witnesses can help show how the accident happened.
- What have I lost because of the accident?
If you have an injury that is having a significant impact on your ability to earn a living, do housework, and take care of your home and family, you may have a case under the “threshold” regulations in Ontario.
Tread carefully with your insurance company
Once you are safely home, call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. You must also apply for accident benefits within 7 days of the car accident.
Keep in mind that insurance companies are pros when it comes to resolving cases for the least amount possible. Your own experienced personal injury lawyer can tell you realistically how much your case is worth so you don’t mistakenly accept a low ball offer. They will be merciless in taking advantage of an unrepresented injury victim. Do not provide them with:
- Medical authorizations, or
- Settle your case, until you have spoken with a lawyer.
Seek legal representation
Even the very best drivers may be involved in a car accident. At Girones Lawyers, we understand that you need someone on your side to help you navigate the complexities of dealing with insurance companies, healthcare providers, and the legal system.
Don’t assume that any insurance company, even your own, is looking out for your best interests. Consult with your lawyer to make sure that your rights are preserved. The experienced car accident lawyers at Girones will ensure that you receive the financial help that you need so that you can make a full recovery.
All initial consultations are FREE. You pay no fees until and unless we settle.